White Sox

White Sox win high-scoring marathon in Minnesota behind Jose Abreu's big game

White Sox win high-scoring marathon in Minnesota behind Jose Abreu's big game

MINNEAPOLIS — The White Sox rode a career game at the plate by Jose Abreu to a comeback victory on Sunday afternoon.

Abreu homered twice and drove in a career-high seven runs and the White Sox rallied from four runs down to beat the Minnesota Twins 13-11 in 12 innings in front of 22,595 at Target Field.

Tim Anderson’s two-run double off Pat Dean helped the White Sox overcome a blown save by Dave Robertson to win for the second time in seven games on the road trip. Brian Dozier, Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and J.R. Murphy all homered for the Twins.

Tommy Kahnle pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the 12th for his first save of the season and third of his career.

“This is what you really expect out of (Abreu),” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “It’s pretty free and easy right now.

“(It helps) when you have a guy where you feel like he’ll get something started or drive it in. “That’s what he’s doing right now.”

Anderson made sure Abreu didn’t have to do any more heavy-lifting than he already had. With runners on second and third, Anderson worked the count full before he ripped a 3-2 slider into the left-field corner to score both runs. Anderson went 3-for-7 to raise his average to .285.

“The game is going back and forth and you don’t want to give in,” Anderson said. “It’s a relief --- kind of like my first hit.”

The White Sox had earlier rallied from a 10-9 deficit in the ninth inning on Avisail Garcia’s bases-loaded, two-run single off Brandon Kintzler. But Kurt Suzuki doubled off Robertson with one out to drive in the tying run. It was Robertson’s seventh blown save in 40 tries.

Abreu, who also went 3-for-7, made Sano pay for a first-inning error when he could have turned an inning-ending double play. Red hot on the road trip, Abreu hammered a 1-1 slider from Andrew Albers for a three-run shot, his 21st.

With the White Sox down three in the fifth, Abreu showed his finesse side as he dumped a 3-2 slider into right for a two-out RBI single.

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The first baseman displayed his power once more in the seventh when a 1-2 curveball caught way too much of the plate resulting in a 465-foot shot into the second deck in left. Abreu’s second three-run homer of the game got the White Sox back within 9-8.

It was the first seven RBI-performance by a White Sox hitter since Jim Thome on July 17, 2009, against the Baltimore Orioles. Abreu hit .412/.412/.794 with four home runs and 13 RBIs on the seven-game road trip.

“I would say this is my best moment of the season,” Abreu said though an interpreter.

But the Twins easily erased their early four-run deficit when Buxton continued a monster series of his own with a game-tying grand slam off Anthony Ranaudo in the second inning. Dozier’s 18th homer since July 31 and 35th overall extended Minnesota’s lead to 7-4 in the bottom of the fourth.

Murphy made it an 8-5 game with a solo homer off the foul pole in the fifth inning. Sano, who also homered on Saturday, gave the Twins a two-run cushion with a solo homer off Matt Albers in the seventh inning.

Ranaudo allowed nine earned runs and 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings for the White Sox.

Those woes nearly extended to the 12th as rookie Juan Minaya walked the first batters he faced. Kahnle also issued a walk as the Twins loaded the bases. But Kahnle knocked down Eddie Rosario’s two-out grounder and Todd Frazier retrieved it and fired to third for the final out.

“I’m not going to tell you what was going through my mind,” Ventura said. “They’re not easy. (The Twins battled).”

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

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USA TODAY

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

On Wednesday morning, ESPN.com released their rankings of all 30 MLB team's starting rotations. The rankings were a nod to the current structure of the rotation, as well as how they were likely to perform in the future. And that is why the Chicago White Sox being ranked dead last in the league is somewhat alarming. 

Overall, the White Sox rotation is 28th in WHIP and 29th in strikeouts. 

Lucas Giolito is currently the team leader in wins with four, but his ERA sits at an unsightly 7.19. James Shields has been decent in spurts, but a general lack of run support has limited his effectiveness. Carlos Rodon has been a mixed bag since returning, but was able to reach the seventh inning in his last start. This is encouraging considering that he hadn't made it that far in any of his previous three starts. And Reynaldo Lopez continues to rack up quality starts—much like Shields—but has two wins to show for it. 

Veteran players like closing pitcher Joakim Soria and Shields are sure to be hot names on the trade market, and that could go a long way towards bringing in additional prospects to build up the White Sox farm system, and lead to a much improved rotation in the future.

So the White Sox obviously deserve to be ranked lowly until they can groom their minor league starter prospects into MLB-ready staff members, something that looks like it could take longer than originally expected. Flame-throwing top prospect Michael Kopech is still amassing high strikeouts numbers, but he is walking over six batters per outing, showing an obvious issue with control. 

White Sox fans can take their mind off of ESPN ranking the team's rotation 30th in the league by turning their attention to Eloy Jimenez. He has been absolutely crushing it in Double-A Birmingham, and will likely be making his debut with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights on Saturday. That game will be live on NBC Sports Chicago. So sit back, relax and look forward to the future, wherever it may take White Sox faithful. 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

In Part 2 of "Ask Us Anything" we answer the following questions: Who will be the biggest free agent the White Sox sign this off-season? What are the chances they trade Avi Garcia before the deadline? What's your assessment so far of Luis Robert?  Who's on your all-time busted prospect list? Is Omar Vizquel the next White Sox manager? Would the 1994 White Sox have won the World Series if there wasn't a strike?  What's the long term plan at third base? These questions and many more on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

If you missed Part 1 of 'Ask Us Anything', you can listen to the full episode here 

Listen to the full Part 2 of 'Ask Us Anything' at this link or in the embedded player below: